The MCCQE (Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination) is an exam that assesses doctors trained outside of Canada but would like to practice in the country.
The MCC (Medical Council of Canada) uses this exam to check their level of clinical competence, knowledge, and judgment in actual clinical scenarios. The MCCQE has two parts- MCCQE 1 and MCCQE 2. However, we will only focus on MCCQE 1 in this article.
The MCCQE 1 has two sections: the MCQ and the CDM sections. The MCQ section has 210 questions and takes about 4 hours, after which there is a scheduled break for 45 minutes before the CDM section starts.
The CDM section is short for Clinical Decision Making. It takes three and a half hours and comprises 38 cases with 1-4 questions each and specific instructions for each case. The passing score for the MCCQE 1 is 226.
Now that we have a general overview of the exam, what are the best tips and practices for MCCQE 1?
The MCCQE 1 is more than a test of factual knowledge. You must understand the intricacies of the test itself and be equipped with the right evidence-based clinical practices to ace this exam. Here are five tips to help you prepare for the exam very well.
1. Use proper resources
Using the right resources to prepare for the exams could potentially be what could push you over the finish line. Thus, to prepare for the MCCQE 1 exam make sure you use a board review book that works for you. These board review books help summarize the key concepts and objectives of the MCC to provide an efficient and easy way to digest all that you are required to know to pass your exam. You could then augment these board review books with textbooks to get more information. Remember to avoid using only textbooks as this could cause an overload of information making you lose what you need.
Furthermore, in choosing board review books always make sure to use one that works well for you. It would be foolhardy to use a book just because it is the best-reviewed on the internet. Thus, it is important to check the teaching style of each one, and you can do this by asking people who wrote the exams which ones they used.
2. Focus on those MCC objectives that you are not familiar with.
The MCCQE1 exam is based on the MCC guidelines. These guidelines are divided into different objectives, and some objectives may be harder to understand than others. So, it would be best to focus more on those objectives that are harder for you. This is to make sure you are not lacking in any area.
One of the ways to do this is to make sure you study them as often as you can because repetition enhances your memory. To ace this exam, you have to be as diligent and consistent as possible, so everything you need to know is just there, right at your fingertips.
3. Know the critical thresholds for the MCCQE 1
Many of the questions you will come across will be based on choosing the best possible answer for a treatment based on a given critical threshold value, e.g., ‘Mr. X has an apparent limb length discrepancy of Y cm; what could be the possible cause based on the history taken?’. To answer such questions, you will have to have the critical threshold value at your fingertips to choose the best possible action.
In many scenarios, you will be asked to choose the best patient management practices or routines based on the critical threshold values. If you have a good grasp of all these values, these questions will be a breeze.
These critical threshold values can sometimes slip your mind, so you should review them repeatedly to get familiar with them.
CanadaQBank can help you prepare with our simulated MCQ that mimics the exam situation.
4. Make Summary Notes
It is not just enough to read and understand. You should also make your study sessions as active as you can. You can do this by making summary notes of important points as you study to engage your mind. You do this to keep remembering the key points and digest information in such a way that you understand. The important thing is to make the information your own and not just read it repeatedly. When you do this, you attach a memory or an emotion to the information you process.
5. Use images to learn
Medicine is a visual and practical science, so media such as diagrams and graphics cannot be overemphasized. During the exam, you will see several clinical images and radiographs and will have to answer questions based on them. The MCC understands how central the use of visuals is for diagnosis and patient-centered management.
On CanadaQBank, there are many images to bring these clinical scenarios to life and help you prepare for the MCQ and CDM questions. We will also give you enough detailed information on these images so that when you are writing the exam, you will be able to answer any question with diagrams easily.
So, let’s run through all our tips
- Use proper resources
- Emphasize objectives you are not familiar with
- Have the critical thresholds values on your fingertips
- Make summaries of notes
- Use images to learn
Do you need help with your preparation? Visit our website on CanadaQBank for more information and tips on accessing our question bank.